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Characteristics of HIV infection in women: epidemiological and clinical features.
Ajassa C; Paoletti F; Sebastiani G; Baldinetti P; Turbessi G; Vullo V;
November 30, 1993
Int Conf AIDS. 1993 Jun 6-11;9(1):287 (abstract no. PO-B01-0914). Unique

The clinical course of HIV infection presents peculiar features in different groups of patients. In the present study we examined epidemiological and clinical characteristics of the infection in 90 AIDS women followed at the Institute of Infectious Disease of the University "La Sapienza" of Rome in the period from 1986 to 1992; data were compared with those observed in 336 male AIDS patients. Main risk factor was in both cases IV drug abuse (> 60%), but women presented a significantly higher rate of heterosexual transmission (35.5% vs. 9.3%). Mean CD4 count was similar in the 2 groups (M = 93.28/mmc; F = 99.98/mmc). Some differences were observed when the incidence of the first AIDS-defining illnesses was compared. In our study no women presented with Kaposi's sarcoma, mycobacterial infection or disseminated mycosis, which among men were the first AIDS-defining illness in 7.7, 4.2 and 1.2%, respectively. A higher incidence was observed in women for salmonellosis and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) (both 3.3% vs 1.2 and 0.9%, respectively), while cryptococcosis was less frequently observed (2.3 vs 3.8%). AIDS-dementia complex was the main cause of death in both sexes, even though much more frequent in women (30 vs. 19.7%). A higher incidence presented also PML (5 vs. 1.2%), while only few women died of cryptococcosis or mycobacterial infection (2.5% each) compared with what observed in men (9.2 and 11.1%, respectively). The mean survival rate was higher for women (14.8 vs. 12.9 months).